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How to Successfully Implement a New ERP: Easy Steps
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How to Successfully Implement a New ERP: Easy Steps

Published 19 Sep 2022
How to Successfully Implement a New ERP: Easy Steps

Just like smartphones have become an integral part of our lives, ERPs have become a vital part of a business. ERP software improves collaboration and ensures everyone can access real-time information - a key to efficient project management.

However, implementing an ERP system is time-consuming and requires every employee's involvement. So, how to implement ERP successfully? Here is a step-by-step guide!

Steps to Implement Your ERP System Successfully

Since it’s a comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss the entire ERP software implementation life cycle. Let’s get started!

1 - Define Your Business Needs

The first step is to evaluate your business's unique needs. This is an essential step because it will help you determine the type of ERP software that best suits your specific requirements, ultimately leading to a more successful implementation process.

You should define:

Business needs: There are several factors to consider when defining your company's unique needs. For example, do you need real-time access? Do you have large numbers of employees in various locations?

Goals: Identify specific goals with time frames attached to them. This is where SMART criteria come into play—specificity, measurability, useful items, and relevant timelines. However, ensure everyone involved understands their role in reaching these targets within an acceptable time frame.

Objectives: When setting up objectives, consider how they align with each other rather than creating separate lists of individual goals and KPIs. This way, they'll work together towards achieving overall success!

2 - Evaluate All Available ERP Solutions

The next step is to choose the right ERP software for your requirements. Again, you will need to evaluate multiple options before deciding.

As you're evaluating your options, consider these four factors as well:

- Good fit for your business: Does the vendor offer the needed functionality? Can they handle the size of your organization? Are their pricing structures reasonable and clear?

- Your industry: Are any features or functions essential to your industry? Does the ERP vendor offer customized features for your industry?

- Your budget: Finally, consider what kind of budget you have for this project before deciding on a vendor! Some solutions might require additional costs beyond licensing fees; others may offer other perks, such as free training sessions or technical support services at no extra cost!

- Designed per local laws: Is the ERP designed to help you meet local laws?

A Full Guide on How to Implement an ERP System | FirstBit blog

3 - Find a Team Lead for the Implementation Process

One of the most crucial steps for ERP implementation is creating an implementation team. The team should comprise

Implementation consultant (has experience with the ERP system and guides the project)
Account manager (can answer questions, troubleshoot issues, and provide support)
Training manager (will help you understand how to use the system)
User acceptance testing (conducts tests to make sure your new system meets its objectives)

You will also need a project manager who ensures the implementation is going seamlessly and your business runs smoothly during the transition.

You may want someone from outside of IT/IS as well. This could include C-level executives or consultants specializing in change management projects.

4 - Develop an ERP Implementation Plan

The next step to successfully implementing ERP is creating a development plan to help prevent problems. You'll want to set realistic goals and be flexible enough to adapt if necessary.

You will need a project scope with everything included and excluded in your ERP solution. It would also comprise specific criteria for measuring success against each part of implementing it (for example, how long will it take or how much money will it cost).

Then, define what your new ERP will do, how you will implement it, and what interim activities need to happen before full go-live.

Lastly, create an initial risk assessment plan to mitigate potential issues that could arise during implementation, so there aren't any surprises later down the line.

5 - Describe All Your Business Processes To Combine Them

As you implement your new ERP system, you'll want to take some time to rethink internal business processes. ERPs help streamline back-of-house operations, such as accounting and inventory management. However, you must combine similar processes to get the best results.

To give you an example, marketing and sales teams both use different software to do their job efficiently. But, one thing they both need is data. So, integrating the tools they use with the ERP will give them a single source of information they need to personalize their offerings - which brings us to our next point.

6 - Integrate Your ERP

Integrating your ERP with existing tools helps create a silo and makes it easier for users to complete tasks without switching between platforms. First, create a list of tools you need and the ones your ERP will replace.

For instance, many ERPs have a built-in CRM, so you don’t need it as separate software. However, you might need a marketing or virtual phone system.

Then, start the integration process. However, like other steps, evaluate the cost of customization and if it can delay the implementation.

how to implement ERP

7 - Provide Employee Training

Training your team on the new system is necessary to maximize investment. It enables your employees to use the tool more efficiently and avoid errors. In addition, it should include learning how to use the system to meet your business goals.

Training should be ongoing, not just during the initial set-up phase. This can include on-call service during off hours or live chat capability, where users can get answers to their most pressing questions as they arise throughout the day or night.

Remember, you will need help from your ERP vendor while training your employees.

8 - Maintenance Is Key

Maintenance is key to the success of your ERP. It helps keep your ERP up-to-date with the latest features, functionality, and security patches.

Both you and your vendor’s support team can take care of maintenance. A good support team should help you troubleshoot any issues or bugs that arise and will provide better value than trying to fix things on your own.

9 - Identify Possible Improvements

After the system is live and your employees have used it for around three months, it’s time to hold surveys. Ask them if they’re facing problems and how you can improve to make the system more efficient. It could be as simple as updating the plugin or getting a new extension.

Then, identify the common problems (or things that make the job easier) and create a plan to improve. If there are bugs or customization issues, your ERP implementation team will help.

Successful Implementation? It Is Easy

steps for ERP implementation
Successful implementation is simple, provided you define your processes, choose the right ERP solution, build the right team, create training programs, and ensure regular maintenance.

Btw, did you know that at FirstBit, we have an 100% ERP implementation success rate? Our experts help you customize the ERP for your business’s unique needs, and they also help you train your employees, so you get the maximum value for money.

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First Bit Team
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